Q&A with Larisha Hunter: Professional associations offer budget-saving ideas, networking and more

Sun, 04/30/2017 - 4:06pm
Central Oklahoma IABC President Larisha Hunter

OKLAHOMA CITY (April 28, 2017) — Professional associations offer budget-saving ideas, networking and more

Q: Why is professional development important?

A: Communications, whether public relations, marketing, advertising or journalism, is changing at warp speed. Having a group of peers to network with and learn from is crucial to ensure everyone in our industry is held to high ethical and performance standards.

Q: What should businesses consider before joining a group?

A: It comes down to personal or organizational goals; each group has different types of events, networking or educational topics. The International Association of Business Communicators is well known for offering professional development topics that appeal to a wide range of communications professionals. Our topics cover public relations, marketing, photography, video, graphic design, web development, event planning and advertising.

Q: Can small businesses see a good return on investment from joining an association?

A: Absolutely. The communications professional or team in a small business often lacks others to bounce ideas off of. Joining a networking group can help fuel that creative spark by allowing ideas to be discussed. In addition, members or guest speakers will often have great budget-saving ideas.

Q: Do members ever get hands-on experience outside a standard luncheon?

A: Yes. We offer professional development workshops to provide experience in new tactics. For example, one of our members works for a nonprofit and can't hire expensive video crews. Our chapter offered a workshop allowing her and just a few other members exclusive access to a local videographer who taught her how to use her own equipment and offered tips on lighting and editing tools.

Q: What trends do you see in the field?

A: First, more measurement. Businesses want more than general awareness or vanity goals; they want to see how communications tactics affect their bottom line. Second, Facebook and Instagram Live are game-changers for communicators right now; companies can instantly share information with key audiences. Lastly, video is widely regarded as the No. 1 way to share and consume information.

Click here to read the article as it appeared in The Oklahoman.